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B&N Buys Out Pearson Stake in Nook Media for $28 Million

Barnes & Noble has reached an agreement to buy out textbook publisher Pearson’s stake in Nook Media for around $28 million dollars in cash and B&N stock. Pearson paid $89.5 million for their 5% stake in December 2012.


Today’s deal follows only a couple weeks after B&N announced a similar deal to buy out Microsoft’s stake in Nook Media for $120 million in cash and stock. Curiously, it looks like MS got the better deal; the tech company recovered 40% of its investment, while Pearson got about 32 cents on the dollar. To be more exact, the Pearson deal included $13.7 million in cash and 602,927 shares of B&N stock.

Shut of outside investors, B&N is now free to spin off Nook Media and let the ebook company sink or swim on its own. B&N had previously said that Nook Media would be spun off by August 2015. And while there is still time for someone to step forward and buy Nook Media, I don’t expect that to happen.



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Paul December 23, 2014 um 11:41 am

This actually shows Pearson’s big problem at the moment: it still thinks its a publisher instead of a technology company that sells educational products.

That’s not to say they were wrong to get out, its just to say that they are not doing themselves any favors at the moment with their current short term policies (based on their other digital products).

Nate Hoffelder December 23, 2014 um 12:09 pm

Yes, very much so. Pearson is one of the companies which could have afforded to buy Nook Media. What’s more, it would have made sense for them to buy Nook Media and strip it for parts.

If I were Pearson I would have bought Nook Media, and not sold my interest in it. But I suspect they didn’t because B&N asked too much.

Paul December 23, 2014 um 12:15 pm

Based on my interactions with them (which I can’t go into), I think its more that they still haven’t transitioned to a digital technology mindset yet.

Otherwise you’re right, it would have made a lot of sense to buy it.

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